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Welcome to the bizarre and dangerous world of Victorian London, a city teetering on the edge of revolution. Its people are ushering in a new era of technology, dazzled each day by unfamiliar inventions. Airships soar in the skies over the city, while ground trains rumble through the streets and clockwork automatons are programmed to carry out menial tasks in the offices of ...
Welcome to the bizarre and dangerous world of Victorian London, a city teetering on the edge of revolution. Its people are ushering in a new era of technology, dazzled each day by unfamiliar inventions. Airships soar in the skies over the city, while ground trains rumble through the streets and clockwork automatons are programmed to carry out menial tasks in the offices of lawyers, policemen, and journalists.
But beneath this shiny veneer of progress lurks a sinister side.
Queen Victoria is kept alive by a primitive life-support system, while her agents, Sir Maurice Newbury and his delectable assistant Miss Veronica Hobbes, do battle with enemies of the crown, physical and supernatural. This time Newbury and Hobbes are called to investigate the wreckage of a crashed airship and its missing automaton pilot, while attempting to solve a string of strangulations attributed to a mysterious glowing policeman, and dealing with a zombie plague that is ravaging the slums of the capital.
Get ready to follow dazzling young writer George Mann to a London unlike any you’ve ever seen and into an adventure you will never forget..
At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
SF editor Mann (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction) sets this leisurely mystery, published in the U.K. by Snowbooks in 2008, in an alternate 1901 London where steam-powered taxicabs fill the streets and brass automatons have begun to replace human labor. Sir Maurice Newbury, British Museum anthropologist and occult connoisseur, and his Watsonesque assistant, Miss Veronica Hobbes, are summoned to investigate the crash of a cyborg-piloted helium zeppelin. Meanwhile, a plague is spreading through London's poorer quarters, turning everyday citizens into bloodthirsty, zombielike "revenants" and threatening the stability of the Empire. Mann's stiff-upper-lipped Victorians chat at great length over cups of Earl Grey and occasionally whack zombies and robots in arduous action passages, and the unnecessary details and painfully stilted dialogue bring nothing fresh to the steampunk subgenre. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In this intriguingly bizarre version of 1901 London, Sir Maurice Newbury, ostensibly an academic, is a trusted agent of the Crown. The ailing Victoria charges him and his assistant, Veronica Hobbes, with discovering the cause of an airship crash, which may be linked to innovative automata now acting as servants all over London. Meanwhile, Scotland Yard is dealing with numerous strangulations perpetrated by a glowing policeman and an outbreak of a "revenant plague" that turns people into mindless, murderous zombies. Readers should not be put off by the introduction of several apparently unrelated investigative threads; Mann brings them together and ratchets up the action as the story progresses. VERDICT Although the imagery is occasionally repetitive and some loose ends are tied up rather abruptly, overall, this series launch by the editor of The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction is a strong addition to the "steampunk" subgenre and one that creates a lively alternative world.—Sara M. Schepis, East Fishkill Community Lib., Hopewell Jct., NY
“Mann is at the forefront of the new generation of UK movers and shakers.Tremendous fun. Mann writes great chase scenes! [The Affinity Bridge] marks George Mann as a writer of enormous promise.”—SFRevu
“Excellent world building; captures the Sherlock Holmes feel; never a boring passage.A hugely entertaining book.” —SFSignal
“An enormous pile of awesome.” —Chris Roberson, World Fantasy Award Finalist and Sideways Award Winner
Posted March 17, 2011
I wasn't fanatic about The Affinity Bridge though I was thoroughly interested in it at the same time. It was a change from the books I have been reading (my recently read books I either couldn't get enough of or disliked with a passion). This one was in the middle. Still I recommend it too fans of mystery and steampunk genres. I guess the main reson why I wasn't too thrilled with it was(and I feel horrible saying this mind you) because it had minimal amounts of romance. I can tell George Mann was trying to ease into the relationship of the two main characters (but to me it was torture!) and I respect that especially since your average romance novel usually rushes the romance between the lovers to where it's unrealistic (I really do hate that part of being a fan of romance). All in all, The Affinity Bridge was an awesome book (with it's zombies and electrical walking canes...) to read and I enjoyed it very much. I am also very excited for the sequal The Osiris Ritual.
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Posted May 26, 2012
Affinity Bridge is a Steampunk crime Mystery set in London in the Victorian era. The author paints the setting well and we can actually feel the choking London fog of times gone by, but are further intrigued by elements of the story that are able to cloak themselves within the thick, dark atmosphere. The writing is good and fast paced so that our interest is held throughout the story. I don't want to give away the plot points of the story, but will say that it's imaginative, engaging, and inspires me to want to read the next book in the series, The Osiris Ritual.
This is the sort of story that makes Steampunk interesting as a genre. I would have liked to get more of a feel for what it's like to travel on an airship, but perhaps that will come in one of the further stories.
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Posted February 5, 2013
What a wonderful tale centered in jolly old England, or is it jolly. The plague is feverently running through the slums of Whitechapel. Mysterious and unexplained murders are stumping Scotland Yard. To add to the mayhem, The Lady Armitage (a passenger derigible) has crashed in Finstead Park adding to the woes of the current investigative team of Veronica Hobbes, Sir Maurice Newbury and Inspector Charles Bainbridge. The Crown has summoned Sir Newbury to give his best effort to quickly uncover the airships demise as there could be a connection to the Royal Dutch Throne. How's that for a plot? Very enticing.
The pros. This is a well laid out story. The scenes and descriptions are dead-on and will have the reader engulfed with the daily deluge of fog and rain in London. Keep a good cup of tea or coffee available to keep the chill off. You will find yourself immersed in the manufactory of the airships as our trio's clues lead them into the impressive, yet sinister company of Chapman and Villiers. The plot thickens as Professor Villiers introduces them to the intricacies of modern technology—The automatom's. Sir Newbury is overtaken by the new machines as they are fully functioning robots capable of performing the most intricate human endeavors. Yet, despite his fascination with the advances in science, he feels there is more than meets the eyes. Something is askew. Is there a connection between the downing of The Lady Armitage, the automatoms, and the murders of Whitechapel, or do they stand on their own? You'll have to get a copy for those answers.
The cons. As in the last work, The Ghosts of Manhattan, the action scenes reminded me of a James Bond thriller. The injuries our hero, Sir Maurice Newbury has sustained would have him completely incapacitated to efficiently engage his assailants. A bit too far-fetched at times. The end of the work took up a little too much space as the reader is introduced to more hidden sub-plots.
Overall, this is an excellent work the Steampunk followers will gobble-up in a heartbeat.
Posted March 31, 2012
The Affinity Bridge had all the potential in the world but when it was all said and done it didn’t amount to much. The world created by George Mann is an interesting one, his characters not so much. Each one was a cliché with little imagination and the mystery involved here left little doubt. Overall this book was a fine attempt but not worth the time.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 15, 2011
Posted November 3, 2011
Posted October 30, 2011
It seemed like a tweener book for British kids. I am neither. In spite of having enough plot elements to make a thrilling read, I put the ebook down again and again, even toward the end of the book. I will not criticize the author, I could do no better, and a critic risks nothing. He does write in a fashion that is easy to visulaize in the mind's eye.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 22, 2011
I enjoyed this story even if the description of the automata was a little bit too far fetched to be believable in the traditional SciFi genre and it sounds anachronistic. On the other hand the pace and the richness of the descriptions do take you to that victorian and foggy London we love so much. Definitelly recommended.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 4, 2011
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Posted January 26, 2011
Though a little less engaging than it's sequel, The Osiris Ritual, The Affinity Bridge is an absolutely fantastic story which in many ways catered perfectly to my notion of Steampunk London. Sir Maurice Newbury is the Sherlock Holmes of steampunk, with a wonderful personality that is, nevertheless realistic; Newbury has faults. The relationship between he and Miss Veronica Hobbes, his "assistant," (she is only so in that Newbury hired her; in every other way she is his equal) is endearing, and is possibly the first ever instance of a romance as a major factor in a steampunk novel. The book starts out a little slow, but speeds up drastically after about the fifth chapter as the plot thickens and the mystery becomes more and more engaging. Mann's writing style can sometimes be a little sloppy, but he is the first author I've seen to successfully create and describe in print format an action scene which would usually be better suited for a movie. I understand that this is said all the time, but I truly was unable to put this book down!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 19, 2011
While I was reading this I kept thinking about the Will Smith movie 'I, Robot' where a robot may have committed murder setting humanity on a perilious collision course with technology. I also had the latest incarnation of a Sherlock Holmes movie swirling around as well as this steampunk drama has a Victorian Age sleuth and a side kick probing the murders of London's citizens allegedly purpitrated by automotons, robots, with human like qualities. It was dizzying keeping up with all of the red herrings and wide array of characters.
In the end, it could have been just another detective story and I really did not get all the crazy technology ala Wild, Wild, West. It was likable and it did keep my attention longer than I first thought. Regarding the genre of steampunk, the age before WWI was a dazzling display of new technology that was growing by leaps and bounds. Europe was the epicenter of it and it came to a nasty collision in August 1914. Steampunk to me can almost be true to historical accuracy, somewhat, so it needs to be a little more out there for me.
Posted May 12, 2010
I Also Recommend:
though not a great one.
The plot reminds me a little of Gordon Dahlquist's Glass Books of the Dreameaters, although the plot of The Affinity Bridge is decidedly less strange. Here we have a feisty heroine and a flawed hero, AND (if that weren't enough), a solid sidekick. It's a little bit Sherlock Holmes and a little bit Amelia Peabody.
Nonetheless, The Affinity Bridge is an easy, escapist, page turner; I finished it in seven hours, by the clock--and I am very much your average reader. It is promising, but it doesn't quite live up to it's promise. I found the characters a bit shallow and the dialog incongrous: highly purple Victoriana, coupled with modern colloqualisms.
I think I understand what Mann was going for; the plot is steam-punkish. However, culture changes much slower than technology--as we witness everyday--and Mann doesn't really sell me that the language will have changed that much. Nor do I buy the other characters' easy acceptance of Veronica as a professional woman/buttkicker. Oh, that it were that easy: give us cars, airships, and robots, and we will give you universal human rights, just like that. But, that's not how it works, clearly. If you are going to do something like that, you've got to make it make sense in your world. Mann didn't.
Yet, the plot's okay. The ending is neither surprising, nor is it unsurprising. The plot point having to do with Jack seems an afterthought more than anything and would probably have been best left out; it's a distraction. The whole book seems clearly a set-up for another novel with the same characters, and so it left me a little unsatisfied with this novel.
Bottom line: If you like the steampunk genre or mysteries, it's worth a read, but it's not going to make you think. Then again, not everything has to.
Posted May 4, 2010
This story had so many different elements to it...a zombie plague, a ghostly policeman, an airship crash, crazy scientists, and a touch of the paranormal. It was almost too much to keep up with. I can's imagine how Sir Newbury managed to keep up with it all, but somehow he did with the help of his beautiful assistant, Veronica.
The story starts off with the investigation of a glowing policeman that seems to be responsible for several murders. As Sir Newbury begins the investigation he is instead directed, by the Queen herself, to investigate an air ship crash. Somehow all of this and the zombie plague tie together fairly neatly in the end, but in a very odd way.
While I did enjoy reading the story, there were times it seemed to jump around a bit, and I could not find myself truly loving any of the characters. The saving grace, and what piqued my interest, was the final chapter. It just may compel me to give the second book a chance and see what happens.
Posted May 2, 2010
Airships, mechancial men, zombies, spiritualism. This should have been a wonderful book. Unfortunately, the author's attempt at Victorian dialogue was stilted, witless, and unauthentic. It became such a distraction that I lost interest in the story, and have yet it finish reading it.
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Posted October 26, 2009
Posted September 12, 2009
Posted September 5, 2009
The Affinity Bridge
(A Newbury and Hobbes Investigation)
Tom Doherty Associates
"The Affinity Bridge" is an action-adventure steampunk mystery of the first order. George Mann combines Victorian era dialogue, a murder mystery, zombies, automata, dark magic, the macabre act of brain switching, and dirigibles to tell a truly interesting and exciting story. In the tradition of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Who, and The Avengers, "The Affinity Bridge" introduces the team of Sir Maurice Newbury and Ms Veronica Hobbes, agents of the Crown (Scotland Yard). Together, they are enlisted by the Queen to discover the cause of an air balloon crash and the unknown identities of the victims. Mann weaves an intricate tale of mystery and adventure whilst visiting the seedier sides of Victorian London and manages to write it in such a way that you believe you've traveled to an alternative Victorian history such as you've never seen the likes of before. The intrigue, dialogue and plot are first rate and you'll even be surprised by events a time or two. Well worth the time and money spent!
4 stars out of 5
Posted August 29, 2009
the imaginative nature and well thought out plot stand out well.
zombies, automatons and airships should be enough to bring out the steam punk in anyone. i hope to see more in this series.
Posted June 28, 2009
The year is 1901.
A strange zombie plague threatens the low class areas of London. Zeppelins fill the skies, piloted by mechanical men. Queen Victoria, with medical help, is still on the British Throne. A mysterious, glowing policeman has been strangling people.
Welcome to the world of George Mann's The Affinity Bridge.
In this Victorian AH Steampunk world, meet Sir Maurice Newbury and his assistant Miss Veronica Hobbes. Agents of the Crown, its their job to deal with enemies and threats to England.
And do it proper British style, of course.
Its clear that there are dark things afoot. A mysterious zeppelin crash impels our two agents into a world of conspiracy, adventure, intrigue and even a bit of the New Weird. The book is not as aggressively set in that genre as other novels I have read as of late; The Affinity Bridge is much more a pure AH "steampunk novel"--with some twists.
The novel starts slowly as we start to get to know the characters. It's clear Newbury and Hobbes are relatively new to each other, as they are to us. However, the writing and characterization improve as we get to know Newbury, Hobbes, and the characters around them.
When it does hit on all cylinders, the novel feels a lot like those old Victorian novels, with all of the plots tying together in a neat fashion (perhaps too neat), hair-breadth escapes, and even a couple of pitched battles, and always time for British sensibility. The characters are neither cardboard nor two dimensional--both have flaws and aspects of their characters that they keep under wraps.
The tagline to this book is "A Newbury and Hobbes novel" which sounds to me that a sequel might be in the offing. Now that the characters and world are firmly established by the end of the Affinity Bridge, I'd read it.